Monthly Archives: August 2008

What ever happened to Mr. Ms. & Mrs?

I am writing this because recently, at least among my friends and co-workers, I have observed an increasing and alarming trend of kids who do not how to address adults properly. As a 2-year old or even now, if I addressed someone my elder – especially someone who had 30+ years on me by their first name, my parents would cringe and correct me. That’s Mrs. Smith to you, not Helen! Unless of course, Mrs. Smith says it is okay to call her Helen and specifically asks to be addressed in that manner.

Anyway, I write this blog because my friends are teaching their kid to say Hi ___ My first name! This is not acceptable to me. Even when I use my own daughter and have her address the parents as Mr. & Mrs., there is no correction to the behavior. It is still, “Foster, say Hi to Renee” Or “Maddie, can you say RENEE?” I am thinking, I got at least 30 years on this kid, surely, you don’t think he is my friend or equal? Teach the kids some manners before it is too late. I also wonder, when the kid starts to attend school, is he going to be calling his or her teachers by the first names? That seems wholly unacceptable to me as well. Maybe if Maddie and Foster learned early how to appropriately address an adult, then they will be saved much trouble in life later.

Even now, as I drop my child off at daycare, I address the care providers there as Ms. Lisa or Ms. Bonnie. It only seems appropriate. I think I would be mortified if my child addressed adults with their first name without being given permission to do so.

The trend I have seen is very alarming and I am just not sure what to do about it. Should I correct the parents? Is that appropriate? Or, should I secretly tell the child, it is more appropriate to refer to me as Ms. Renee not Renee? I can try to set an example I suppose by referring to myself as Mrs. or Ms. so the parents get the hint but in my experience, parents like this rarely get the hint because it is the cluelessness that started this whole mess in the first place.

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Mounting Medical Frustrations

Recently, I have realized how frustrating it is to deal with the medical community. For example, my dentist’s office is only open Monday through Thursday. I find that very frustrating. A professional medical office should be open 5-6 days a visit with dentists or doctors rotating so they all get the time off they need. When I call a medical office on a Friday morning, call me crazy, but I expect they are open. Staff could just work shifts so each person has a day off. What a concept! Meanwhile, I have practically no client interaction other than via phone daily and my genius boss will not even let his staff work from home. So I called my dentist office on Monday to schedule something for that week that could work for me. There are location issues especially with my daughter in daycare near my office, some 13 miles from home. Anyway, I found it hard to believe when they told me they were closed on Tuesday for renovations. Hmmm… Tuesday and Friday now? Do you people ever work? That thought entered my mind and my sarcastic tone on the phone must have conveyed this sentiment. The biggest problem was when I asked for my charts and records especially X-rays. I cannot take X-rays right now so if I could get my chart – my chart being the operable phrase here, anyway, she told me they would need two days to prepare them. I told them to have the copies ready on Wednesday. All of a sudden, minutes later, the receptionist was able to find me an opening at 7am to do the filling. Interesting stuff.

I also recently found out that my husband called to get test results from X-rays taken over a week ago, and because he called on Friday, his podiatrist was closed too! Then, low and behold, she was out again on Monday when he called. No one, not even a nurse on call to give that information out. It is critical for him as he is hobbling around on a strange cast and in pain. You would think someone would have called him? No, these days unless your test results reveal mass lumps in your breast, no one will call you and even then, they will call you two weeks later. Call me crazy, but this all seems like medical malpractice to me. I told him to start seeing a doc who would be more readily available – like perhaps, five days a week!

Then, I had to deal with a sonographer last week who would not explain anything to me and would not even let me view the ultrasound as she was doing it – after all, why do I need to know anything about my body and my health? Someone will get back with me in a few weeks IF there is a reason to call. So, that’s it? What’s a woman gotta to do these days to get some information about her own frigging health?! I know this sounds like a ranting and raving blog but it is truly frustrating to work with professionals when you are not treated like one. I expect a doctor to call me, not a nurse with results, and take time to explain them. And if a nurse calls me with alarming news like my thyroid levels are off, I expect some explanation on why and some good medical advice on what to do next instead of, “here, here’s a good number for an endocrinologist…. Good luck!”

On the positive side, this past week, I saw a genetic counselor and an ultrasound tech who really knew their stuff. I learned about placenta previa, Nucul translucency, presence of a nasal bone, chromosomal defects, the difference between CVS and amnio, and amazing improvements in technology and medical equipment that have made amnios more safer than ever. I was amazed by this clinic. They took time to explain to me my body – imagine that! A medical professional who takes time to explain your options, educate you, and send you off feeling more empowered and more in control of your body and future than when you entered that office? Really? Is it possible? They even called me promptly to go over my results with me and took the time to explain those too. All I can say is that I am truly impressed by some medical professionals and offices more than others. I am looking for a new dentist but do not want new Xrays done so will need to wait til next year. And yes, if you are reading this blog, we are expecting sometime in late February. More blogs to follow on that topic…. ‘til then, do your homework and find doctors who make you comfortable, who spend time with you, and give you information on your options instead of treating you like a number, and ask when they are open…. Picking a good medical professional can really make a HUGE difference in your life – heck, as we learned by watching 60 minutes last night, it may even save it.

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The daycare experience

We have recently experienced some daycare woes as our young toddler has experienced some illnesses, severe falls, and encountered biting classmates. For me, it has been an ordeal. We started her in day care after she turned one. I thought it was too soon but the tax advantages were there – moderate to none, but nonetheless, present. Needless to say, I have learned some lessons from this that I plan to apply to future child(ren). First, it is far better to pay taxes and suck it up and leave kids with family or home care situations where the ratios are better. Second, if you are craving social interaction for the kid, go to the parks in the evenings, and/or join some mommy/daddy plae groups. Third, if you do decide to start the kid in daycare, wait til they are older and can communicate especially considering how hard it is for our child to tell us what happened, how she feels, and what she may have eaten. It would also be nice for her to tattle on who bit her so we can give the parents the evil eye 🙂

All in all, she has learned a lot but I have to say, the trade off is not that great. I would rather a kid not learn a lot at an early age than be sick all the time. The time off from work and gas going back and forth has not proven to be an advantage and may offset what little tax advantage we have gained. If you are fortunate enough to find home care with a smaller ratio, don’t jump, jump twice at that opportunity. If the home care provider is great, stick to it. If not, find something else. I am even considering the idea of an Au Pair as we plan a second child.

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Generics

I am recently learning that it is better to pay double for brand names for some things than buy the knock-off generics. For example, yesterday I went grocery shopping and needed fruit snacks and nutri-grain© bars for my daughter. The generics were half-price so I decided to go with those. While in most cases this would be okay, it turned out that this time it was not okay to go with the Kroger brand. For example, my daughter enjoyed the soft chewy fruit snacks made by Welch’s that my husband got last time. This time it was Kroger-brand Sharks and assorted fruit snacks. The Sharks were okay but the Assorted ones were so rock hard, I did not even hand her a package for fear that she’d use them as pellets for target practice instead of eating them.

Now the generic Kroger-brand fruit bars actually resembled the real thing and tasted good – they were soft, consistent and quite good. I guess it is not that hard to make a fruit-filled cereal bar but fruit snacks somehow elude people. Needless to say, I am learning this lesson since she started eating solids. In medicines, I try to stick to the name brands – Tylenol is a name you can trust I am not sure about Costco brand yet especially when it comes to an infant or toddler. Sometimes generics do not add up and it is better to stick with something you know. For example, tater tots and waffles in the generic brand are okay; formula and pediatric hydration beverages are not. Carnation instant breakfast is okay as a generic brand, but Graham crackers are not. And the list goes on …. I think the point is that sometimes you actually do get what you pay for and in the end, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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Reunion-Bound!!!


I recently bought airline tickets to attend my 10 year law school reunion. I cannot believe it has already been 10 years! Where has the time gone? I feel older and definitely a lot has changed in my life but come on! 10 years since a post-graduate degree seems like a long time and I do not even feel that old although I am sure I look it.

Anyway, I never thought I would attend the law school reunion because to me, undergraduate was more fun but as far as reunions, it is tougher to do an undergraduate reunion with so many different schools and colleges represented in one year group. This was a more tight-knit bunch, sharing classes in common, seeing each other daily for almost three years, and all the football games and tailgating! I remember law school as a very stressful time in my life especially freshman year but I do remember some of the people fondly. There were some I cared to never see again of course. Anyway, there are expenses associated with such a thing – cost of a ticket to the reunion party, cost of the football ticket if we attend that, and of course, flying all the way from Colorado to Louisiana- argh! I would have preferred a December reunion in the Pelican State but I guess I will take late September. The good news for me is that my husband and daughter are also coming along which will be nice to retreat to and remind me of how far I have come since graduating. But, I know it will be much more hectic and getting ready for the event might pose challenges as my daughter clings on to me for dear life. I am looking forward to seeing the people more than anything and finding out how their lives are and while I may only see them for a few hours that weekend, I think we will make network connections that may span longer than that so I am excited about that.

We have not visited New Orleans since the big K and I am curious to see what my old hang outs look like and how it is being rebuilt but at the same time, I am dreading seeing my city in shambles as well. I hope that I get some glimpses of hope as well and cannot wait to dig my teeth into those beignets… we will all need to dress down for that considering my daughter will be playing with the powdered sugar. N’awlins, here we come!

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